IS THE IMPOSSIBLE, POSSIBLE?

The Impossible Whopper sounds almost too good to be true. A fully vegetarian patty that tastes indistinguishable from its meaty counterpart? Sounds pretty impossible, right? We decided to put Burger King’s claims to the test to see just how incredible this veggie patty could be.

Impossible Whopper
The Impossible Whopper made a nationwide debut on August 8, after a successful pilot run in St. Louis.

I’ll admit, it’s been a long time since I’ve set foot inside a Burger King. But this plant-based wonder hooked my interest and reeled me in. I brought along two equally skeptical companions, and we ordered two Impossible Whoppers and one regular Whopper for comparison’s sake. The meatless version will run you a dollar extra, which came out to $6.59 for a Whopper and $7.59 for an Impossible Whopper (I know, it’s more expensive than the mainland). 

We decided to make a taste test game out of it. I closed my eyes, and my two friends noisily shuffled the trays, wrappers, and⁠ – most importantly⁠ – burgers. They placed each Whopper in my hands and I took a bite and tried to guess which was the real meat.

Impossible Whopper

TIP: If you’re traveling to the mainland from now until September 1, you can take advantage of Burger King’s “taste test” promo. If you order on DoorDash or the BK app with the code “IMPOSSIBLE,” you can get both a Whopper and Impossible Whopper for $7.

In the end, I guessed correctly. However, I want to emphasize that it was a guess ⁠- I wasn’t confident! I was astounded by how close the Impossible Whopper was in both taste and texture to actual beef. The flame-broiled flavor, savory mayonnaise, and additional toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, pickles, onions) help to make the meatless patty difficult to distinguish from the regular one. If you add cheese as well, I think it would be even harder to tell apart. 

Although I could taste slightly more soy flavor in the Impossible Whopper, and the texture and juiciness weren’t perfect, it tasted more “realistic” than any other veggie burger I’ve tried. If I hadn’t compared them side-by-side, I think it would have been even more convincing. 

One of my friends, who notoriously believes that a meal without meat is incomplete, was chowing down on one of the Impossible Whoppers. “Yeah, I still prefer this regular Whopper to the meatless one. It just tastes better,” he declared with a shrug. We burst out laughing and pointed out that he was actually eating an Impossible Whopper! He was shocked and pretty abashed, but it goes to show that maybe even hardcore carnivores can be fooled by this veggie version.

Regular Whopper vs. Impossible Whopper
When it comes to the Impossible Whopper, meatless doesn’t mean flavorless.

Impossible Whopper patties contain ingredients like soy, potato, and coconut/sunflower oil. The key ingredient is plant-based heme, basically a compound molecule containing iron, which mimics the heme found in meat (think “hemoglobin” — what gives red blood cells their color). The Impossible Foods scientists honed in on this molecule to mimic the flavor of real meat, so a lot of cool research went into creating this plant-based burger! (Look Mom, I’m finally using my biology major in some way). 

The Impossible burger patties are still cooked on the same grill as the regular patties, so if you’re a very strict vegetarian this may not be for you. However, I’m personally interested in eating less meat for the sake of the environment, animals, and my personal health, so I’m thrilled with this alternative. While the Impossible Whopper shouldn’t be considered a “health food,” I think it’s at least marginally healthier than a regular Whopper. So that’s a win in my books. 

Impossible Whopper

TIP: Did you know if you fill out Burger King’s survey after your purchase, you can get a free Whopper? Just keep your receipt, follow the survey instructions online, and write down the validation code. You need to buy a drink and side at regular price, but your Whopper will be free! I don’t know if this includes Impossible Whoppers, but I love free food regardless.

LIMITED TIME ONLY

Make sure you get your hands on one while you can – Burger King says it’s only available while supplies last. I’m curious to hear what you think!